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What are psychological aspects of spinal cord injury?

What are psychological aspects of spinal cord injury?

Allen Heinemann, PhD

Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago

Read Bio More Videos by Allen Heinemann
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I think families need to appreciate that rehabilitation involves learning to do old things in new ways after spinal cord injury.  So on the physical side, it’s, “How do I achieve mobility in my community?”—“How do I... Show More

I think families need to appreciate that rehabilitation involves learning to do old things in new ways after spinal cord injury.  So on the physical side, it’s, “How do I achieve mobility in my community?”—“How do I get in and out of buildings?”—“How do I manage bowel and bladder function?” for example.  And, on the psychological side, it’s important to think about what brings meaning to life. “What makes me want to get out of bed in the morning?”—“What are my goals in life?”—“Where do I see myself going?”—“What’s the narrative, what’s the story that unites my, all the events and the days in my life into a meaningful story, that give meaning and purpose?”  So, if a spinal injury is initially seen as the end of the life as I knew it, ultimately their needs to be a new life created, and a new way of anticipating a future that’s rich, and meaningful, and rewarding.  On occasion, people tap spiritual resources, and think about meaning and purpose in a religious or spiritual framework.  Sometimes, they think about it in a more social, giving back to one’s community, or giving to other people.  It varies widely on the individual, so it’s consequently hard to say there’s one best way to approach dealing with the psychological and social aspects of disability.  

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What are psychological aspects of spinal cord injury?

Allen Heinemann, PhD

Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago

More Videos by Allen Heinemann
Transcriptadd

I think families need to appreciate that rehabilitation involves learning to do old things in new ways after spinal cord injury.  So on the physical side, it’s, “How do I achieve mobility in my community?”—“How do I get in and out of buildings?”—“How do I manage bowel and bladder function?” for example.  And, on the psychological side, it’s important to think about what brings meaning to life. “What makes me want to get out of bed in the morning?”—“What are my goals in life?”—“Where do I see myself going?”—“What’s the narrative, what’s the story that unites my, all the events and the days in my life into a meaningful story, that give meaning and purpose?”  So, if a spinal injury is initially seen as the end of the life as I knew it, ultimately their needs to be a new life created, and a new way of anticipating a future that’s rich, and meaningful, and rewarding.  On occasion, people tap spiritual resources, and think about meaning and purpose in a religious or spiritual framework.  Sometimes, they think about it in a more social, giving back to one’s community, or giving to other people.  It varies widely on the individual, so it’s consequently hard to say there’s one best way to approach dealing with the psychological and social aspects of disability.  

What are psychological aspects of spinal cord injury?
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